#1
Hey all,

I am looking to have a new custom guitar made for me and the idea of a flat fretboard sprung to mind. I have never(as far as I can remember) played a guitar that I noticed to have a flat fretboard so I did not just want to go for it without really knowing what I am getting into.

Any information on flat fretboard would be much appreciated, what are the advantages? Why even have a radius? And also I would like to hear what people prefer and why.

Thanks all, I appreciate your help.



-IamSatai
#2
a flat fretboard is used mainly for those shredder type of guitar players and it could work well for jazz too... its flat so you can play scales a little faster and it is easier to tap. It works well for classical music too. If you look at a classical guitar, you will see that the neck is completely flat.

a round fretboard is ok but I usually but it is mostly good for rhythm type stuff because you can put more pressure on the strings and not worry about pressing down on them so hard that you make that note go out of tune... but i prefer flat....
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#3
Quote by cobracarg
a flat fretboard is used mainly for those shredder type of guitar players and it could work well for jazz too... its flat so you can play scales a little faster and it is easier to tap. It works well for classical music too. If you look at a classical guitar, you will see that the neck is completely flat.

a round fretboard is ok but I usually but it is mostly good for rhythm type stuff because you can put more pressure on the strings and not worry about pressing down on them so hard that you make that note go out of tune... but i prefer flat....


Hmm, interesting... I play metal, i.e. shredding so this may be a good idea. I was just looking at my classical guitar and did notice it has a flat board but It is so different to an electric I cant really tell what it would be like. I always did wonder why the fretboard has a radius. I will really have to think this one over.
Thanks for the help.
Last edited by IamSatai at Dec 24, 2009,
#4
Quote by IamSatai
Hmm, interesting... I play metal, i.e. shredding so this may be a good idea. I was just looking at my classical guitar and did notice it has a flat board but It is so different to an electric I cant really tell what it would be like. I always did wonder why the fretboard has a radius. I will really have to think this one over.
Thanks for the help.


It's also easier to play slide on a flatter neck
#5
[quote="'[VictorinoX"]']It's also easier to play slide on a flatter neck

On your RG prestige?

Imagine showing up to a blues show playing one of those. I believe your sig is correct
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#6
Ibanez Wizard Prestige necks are about 17". That's about the highest for a production guitar but I've seen others that had 20". I love flatter radii because the action is pretty much even across all the strings. Bending, vibrato, and playing fast all feel smoother on a flatter radius to me.
#7
What are the specs on the radius? It's not actually perfectly flat, is it?

Something like an Ibanez usually has about a 400 - 430 mm radius (about 15.75" - 16"), and they are generally considered to be flat shredder necks. Something with more of a 10 - 12" radius is better for playing chords and more rythym type stuff. Then there are companies like Jacksonwho use a compound radius neck, which may have a 12" raduis at the first fret, and it gradually increases down the neck, to perhaps a 16" radius at the 24th fret.
#8
Don't forget the older Fenders used to have a 7.5 radius which was fine for bashing out chords but horrible for any decent lead work. Now I see copy Strats with 16 radius.
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#9
Quote by That_Guitar_Man
On your RG prestige?

Imagine showing up to a blues show playing one of those. I believe your sig is correct


I actually did. I played a set at this local bar that caters to blues-rock bands. We decided to cover "In My Time of Dying," but nobody knew that yet. I walked up on the stage with a black, single-p'up RG Prestige, and everyone's like, "Oh, another shitty shred wannabe." I started playing the intro to the song, and everyone was still kinda skeptical then the main part comes in with the three big powerchords and the slide single-note riff, and they're all like and with a 500K volume pot, it's really easy to go from really edgy hard rock to bluesy grit without really having to change settings in between. Just for that one song, I played the slow slide parts at around 3, and played the rest at about 7-8
#10
The only electric I can think of that has an actual flat radius is the Vigier Shawn Lane sig. The flattest fretboard I've played had a 17 inch radius, I don't know how different a totally flat one would feel.

Honestly I couldn't tell much difference between the 17 inch radius guitar and my 14 inch Carvin. But between my 9.5 inch Strat and either of those, a HUGE difference.
#11
Quote by stratman7
The only electric I can think of that has an actual flat radius is the Vigier Shawn Lane sig. The flattest fretboard I've played had a 17 inch radius, I don't know how different a totally flat one would feel.

Honestly I couldn't tell much difference between the 17 inch radius guitar and my 14 inch Carvin. But between my 9.5 inch Strat and either of those, a HUGE difference.


Odd, as I find it pretty easy to notice the difference between the 12" of my Gibson and the 9.5" of a friend's Strat.
#12
You'll only find truly flat FB's on nylon string classical guitars.
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#13
Quote by oneblackened
You'll only find truly flat FB's on nylon string classical guitars.


I have a classical guitar and I can still chord pretty well on it...

I doubt radius actually makes a huge difference.
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#14
I prefer flat for chording, soloing... and just about anything. I´m too used to the classical guitar and my 20" radius guitars.
#15
Hmm... after considering this for a while and hearing all of your responses I think I will go for a flat fretboard.
Thanks all
#16
Quote by That_Guitar_Man
I have a classical guitar and I can still chord pretty well on it...

I doubt radius actually makes a huge difference.


A flatter radius helps with bending and with how low you can set your action. Some players prefer extremely low action.

I heard Stanley Jordan's electrics had real flat fretboards. I think he mentioned something higher than the 20". He plays touch style Jazz, and has said for his style he has to have really low action and such. So a flatter radius would make sense...

Allan Holdsworth's signature from Carvin has a 20" radius. I'd love to play that, highest I've played is a 16" radius, and I currently play a 12" radius strat.

Feels nicer than the vintage radius.
#17
The answer is... both:

Compound radius fretboards!
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